Acupuncturist Questions Ulcers

Can acupuncture help with ulcer pain?

I have an ulcer and now it seems all food hurts my stomach. I don't usually like taking medication, and was wondering if acupuncture would help with this pain?

26 Answers

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help patients with ulcer. Please check with local acupuncture clinic for help.
Sorry to hear you are going through painful ulcer symptoms with eating. It is smart to avoid medication whenever possible and acupuncture can most likely help your situation.
In China, acupuncture practitioners actually practice traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes needling (acupuncture), herbs, moxibustion, cupping, tuina, etc. Needling can help relieve the pain in the stomach. To heal the ulcer, it works best in combination with herbs.

If your ulcer still in the bleeding stage, I will suggest take medication. Even you may not like medicine, because herbs are also part of natural medicine. If you are not in an acute stage, acupuncture can help you a lot. It doesn't treat the ulcer itself, but de-stresses.

Hope this answer is what you are looking for. Have a great one and wish you feel better soon,

Jonathan Fang

Dr. Hui (Grace) Gao LAc., TCMD
In Traditional East Asian Medicine, pain is the result of a blockage or stagnation. The questions of why the ulcer occurred and how the pain manifests helps in the diagnosis.
Acupuncture can help ameliorate the pain and other integrative therapies can help heal.
Acupuncture can help with the pain. Herbal prescription would help the most in this situation. There are wonderful herbs that help to heal any wound, whether it's internal or external. Seek someone with the full Chinese Medical training that can prescribe herbs.
by Steve Sterling, L.Ac.

Heartburn is a symptom of indigestion. Over-the-counter heartburn drugs Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and Zegerid are Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and are among the highest-selling classes of drugs in the U.S. with $9 Billion in sales last year. Prilosec (omeprazole) is the 6th most commonly prescribed drug with 53.4 prescriptions sold. The theory was that heartburn was caused by too much acid and so these drugs are designed to block the stomach’s ability to produce acid.

As we age stomach acid production decreases. The stomach acid needs to be very acidic pH 3 in order for the stomach contents to empty into the small intestine where it mixes with the digestive juices from the pancreas. With less stomach acid this means that it takes longer for food to digest in the stomach. What happens to food when it gets left out too long on the counter, it spoils.

The same thing happens to food when it sits too long in your stomach. Protein putrefy, Carbohydrates ferment, and Fats become rancid. When this happens this produces gas and the gas has to go someplace so when it goes up and pushes open on the valve to the esophagus it splashes some of the stomach acid onto the walls of the esophagus causing heartburn.

If you have heartburn or take antacids or PPIs you may benefit from stomach acid supplementation. (Remember to consult your doctor before going off any prescription medications).

But, before taking STOMACH ACID SUPPLEMENTATION with SP-zypan consider doing the apple cider vinegar test!

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR TEST - to help check for an ulcer
Drink 1 Tbs of apple cider vinegar in 4 oz of water on an empty stomach. If you have increased burning symptoms you should consult your primary doctor to rule out an ulcer and you should not supplement stomach acid.

Stomach acid is your body’s first line of defense against foreign pathogens (bacteria, virus, & parasites). If your stomach acid is low opportunistic bacteria such as h.pylori (helicobacter pylori) can take up residence in your stomach or small intestine. This can produce an inflammatory response which can cause other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions to flare-up. The test and treatment protocol for h. pylori are available here at our integrative wellness center. We have Leaky gut testing and parasite stool testing.

Start now by scheduling your online or phone nutritional consultation and complete the Symptom Survey Form.…/nutritional-consultation/

Adequate stomach acid is needed for the stomach intrinsic factor used so your body can absorb Vit B12. Vit B12 is also cofactor which acts as an enzyme to catalyze many important biochemical reactions including how the cells make energy and it is important for making brain chemicals (neurotransmitters). Vit B12 (Methylcobalamin)in the Liver detoxification process is important because it donates a methyl group to toxins so that they can be eliminated in the urine.

It is estimated that as many as 60% of the U.S. population has a variation in the gene for MTHFR (Methyl Tetra Hydro Folate Reductase). Having a variation means that you don’t methylate as well and that you could have a higher requirement for Vit B12 supplementation. Be sure to get the Methylcobalamin B12 (and not the cyanocobalamin). We offer DNA testing and Vitamin & Mineral nutritional testing.

At I offer a variety of testing to determine if your body is functioning optimally or if you have inadequate digestion.

“My motto is if we’re not testing we’re guessing
and I don’t want to guess with your health”.

We also carry many natural professional products as well as traditional Chinese herbal medicine to help restore your body’s healthy balance. Once the underlying functional imbalance is restored than the symptoms go away because we fixed the problem.

Your body is amazing and it has the ability to heal itself as long as we give it what it needs. Many of the health conditions I see in the clinic & online consultations I treat by healing with Whole foods.
Yes, acupuncture is extremely effective when used to address ulcer pain. This type of pain can be caused from various sources, including and especially nutrition along with stress-related factors. We would do a detailed intake on the symptoms and health history to determine the cause of the ulcer, and then develop an effective treatment plan for it.
I hope this answers your question.
Yes. There are many stduies, but most of the studies done on this subject were outside the US. Acupuncture increases local as well as distal blood flow and oxygen level in the bloodstream. As a result, acupuncture repairs tissues to heal. It works well.
Yes, acupuncture works along with herbs. Consult your Oriental Medicine doctor.

Susan Friedrich
Yes acupuncture can be very effective in soothing the digestive tract. Licorice tea, aloe drinks, papaya enzymes and stress relieving techniques like deep breathing are other good ideas to implement into daily practice. Items to omit are greasy food, coffee, alcohol, spicy food, gluten and dairy as well - at least until the ulcer is healed.
Yes, acupuncture is good work for this pain.
Yes, but not every acupuncturist knows how to do it.
Most of the time, acupuncture will help ulcer pain.

Thank you,

Yes, acupuncture can help with ulcer pain. There are a few human studies and several animal model studies showing pain reduction, regeneration or protection of the mucosal coat in the digestive system as well as ulcer prevention.

I've successfully helped many folks in reducing or eliminating their need for medications that manage stomach acid production. One thing to be aware of, especially with proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec or Nexium, is that there is often a couple week period in the beginning of acupuncture treatment when acid levels go up a bit before they drop. Some patients have a hard time making it over this "hump." For best results, make sure you see an NCCAOM board certified and state licensed acupuncturist.
Yes. Acupuncture not only works great for digestive disorders, but is great at relieving inflammation and promoting circulation. Acupuncture can help not only relieve the pain but also treat the root cause of the ulcer.
Digestive specialty! The answer is, yes, it can. However, in your case, instead of managing pain in flare-up episodes, I'd want to address the root cause (underlying condition causing the pain). In order to resolve the problem, it's important to find the cause and work to restore gut health. This is my favorite type of condition to treat. There are tools at our disposal and because acupuncture is so effective, I include it in each of my treatment plans for digestive/stomach issues.
Studies have shown that acupuncture helps with healing of both duodenal (small intestine) and gastric (stomach) ulcers with healing verified by gastroscopy in some cases. A few weeks of acupuncture along with dietary recommendations and abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes gave the best results.
Yes, acupuncture can help to adjust and heal digestion issues such as ulcers, and by using the natural herbs can help better in the healing process.
Your condition can be helped with acupuncture treatments. The main cause is stress, certain foods, and alcohol. Some lifestyle changes, working out also helps to ease your condition. Thanks.
Stomach ulcers are almost always caused by one of the following:

A. An infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
B. Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen

Rarely, a condition known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers by increasing the body’s production of acid. This syndrome is suspected to cause less than 1 percent of all peptic ulcers. I would advise getting medications to eliminate the H. Pylori - which is the most common reason to have an ulcer and I would certainly stop taking any NSAIDS for pain. Acupuncture and herbal formulas can help with pain, but if it is a true H. Pylori ulcer, I would get medications to eliminate that and use acupuncture to reduce the pains that lead one to use NSAIDS.
Yes, acupuncture can help heal ulcers at many levels, and your acupuncturist will probably have access to herbs that can help speed healing. I think it's a great idea to seek someone out who has experience treating ulcers and get in to see them as soon as you can. In the mean time, try getting some liquid aloe and drinking it several times a day. Aloe is a great healer of raw skin and often helps with pain immediately.

Yes. Acupuncture can help alleviate the pain, help the ulcer to heal, and help prevent new ones from forming. However, I ask that you continue to consult with your doctor to image the progress of it's healing. As for the medications, please don't fear them. They can be extremely helpful and the acupuncture can help wean you off of them and/or address any possible side effects from them.
An ulcer is usually an indication of something else that is going on with your body. Stress, incompatible foods, alcohol, and other things can cause the body to produce too much acid and leave the stomach vulnerable to ulcers. If you are on PIPs, it is important to find an alternative to these, as long term use has shown to cause many issues with the digestive organs. Chinese herbs are extremely effective for ulcers and ulcer pain. Acupuncture helps to move blood which in turn can supply great anti-inflammatories, white blood cells, pain-killing endorphins, oxygen and other great healing factors to damaged areas.